Saturday, September 29, 2007

MIssed Goal

I can pretty well see that I'm going to miss my goal of finishing, Priscilla, the Halloween Fairy by the end of September. All because I picked up that shop model to stitch. Which makes me realize that I don't possibly have time to stitch Mirror, Mirror for a Christmas present - it makes more sense to do that as a birthday gift next September. Because I truly need to finish Agnes Scott if I'm going to stand a chance of getting her finished in time for Woodlawn. Which was my one big goal for the year.

I was never great with deadlines. Especially self-imposed ones.

And in other news:

Three cheers for the Orioles beating the Yankees last night. The Red Sox win the AL East and are division champs for the first time since 1995!

Of course, on the other hand I am so bummed that the baseball season is coming to a close. Football just doesn't do it for me.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Don't you Just Love a Sale?

Needlewoman East in Falls Church, VA was having its 30th anniversary sale this week. I made sure I had time to stop by today. I picked up 2 sets of stretcher bars that I need and then moved on to the fibers. More Needle Necessities, just because. And some Impressions in black and white and off whites for the canvas at bought in La Jolla this summer. Picked up the Stitches for Effect book. Now I just need the other 2 books. Then went down the street to the brand spanking new Penzeys Spices that opened recently. So much more satisfying to visit this store in person as opposed to buying via catalog. All those lovely smells. Used the Tuscan Spice blend on our grilled salmon this evening and I loved it.

Bought my White Beads

Bought my white beads yesterday for the daisy bracelet. And a narrower gauge wire than I already have for making these beaded ribbon things, though I should so do the spider first 'cause Halloween is coming soon. Will have to go back and check the website where I got those patterns - I'm sure there are tons more by now. Don't remember what it is off the top of my head, but will try to remember to post a link here tomorrow.

What else did I buy at the bead store? I'm sure there was something else.

I slept in today till nearly 10:00 a.m. That's unheard of in my world. I'm nearly always awake by 6:00 a.m. for no good reason.

I did pick up a random number of Needle Necessities yesterday at the shop as they are officially going out of business. The rumor I'm hearing is that their main dyer is going to start producing on her own. But she can't use their formulas. So don't expect things to be exactly the same. I need to go through my pile of projects and make sure there's nothing I absolutely need.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Sorry about not posting. Having a particularly bad time this month and my brain is not working properly. Not enough sleep. Etc. Etc.


Haven't stitched as much as I wanted to this week. But I've got nearly all the silk finished on Celestial. Another 1/2 hour or so of stitching and the only thing left will be the metallic. Which is Petit Treasure Braid. Which I don't mind working with at all.

Yesterday was EGA meeting day - I went to both morning and evening meetings. The project is a square stitch bracelet done with black, yellow, orange and white beads. And a few green beads. It's candy corn and pumpkins. I figured it out right away leaving most people except one other beader in the dust. I thought it was funny that none of us had tried square stitch before. Peyote and brick, yes. I already started another bracelet with daisies on a blue background. I just need to stop at the beading store and buy some white beads.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Slow, slow, slow

Would like to just sleep the day away. I want to be my cat today. I could just pretend to be him??? A little nap. Roll over. More sleep. Get a drink. Nothing new in the food dish. Find a sunny spot. Take a bath. Another nap. Play with a wine cork. Lick a spot on the floor. Streeeeetch. Run up the stairs. Meow. Run down the stairs. Meow. Curl up in basket and sleep on head. Stand up. Streeeeeetch. Turn around. Curl up on other side in basket. Ah the good life.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

What I'm Doing

What I'm doing that may prevent me from stitching:

sewing a sleeve for a curtain rod on the back of an Afghani rug that DH brought back from the Middle East in 1998.

I've got about 12 inches attached, it's about 44 inches wide and I need to handsew on the both the top and bottom. It's killing my hand. Not to mention the darn thing is heavy. I think I'll try working on it on a table later. It's so hard to push that needle through the tightly woven wool.

JCS Ornament Issue '07

Okay. I retract yesterday's comment about pages numbers for the photos on the direction pages. I see them now. For some of them. Not for all of them. One year they used bold type for the photo page number. Those of us who are getting older appreciate that. I like being able to flip back and forth quickly without a lot of hunting around.

I'd give this issue a C+. My initial reaction was that there were only two must stitch these ornies. Monsterbubbles' Eiffel Tower and Jemini Designs' Woodlands Woodpecker.

Starting on page 10, the first page of designs - all kind of red and green with the majority showing stockings. Boring, boring, boring. The sampler goddess in me likes the Hands to Work sampler style design, but not enough to stitch it. The flat ornament finishing instructions that are used to finish the bellpulls from the Sweetheart Tree and Julia Lucas Designs are extremely generic. And not useful if you follow them literally. Thistle Threads is still flogging their Tokens and Trifles perforated paper shapes, but couldn't she have designed something pretty instead of a tartan plaid with that lime green color? Props to Legacy Designs for using a different technique - darning stitch, but I'd have used a darker green than GAST Grape Leaf.

Page 12 - Red and Green. M Designs - wait isn't that a third version of a no-bake cookie? Noel in the Tree - it's different, but not for me. Nordic Needle , I kind of like this one. Colors work. Moss Creek's Goodwill Horse. Is this the only designer who got a whole two pages? I like it. It's different in a good way. Everything else on this page is boring.

Page 14 - Brittercup's Poinsettia - now she's doing for flora what she's done for fauna. Good job. But someone should have stopped her story about there being no Santa. Scrooge. The Workbasket's Christmas House - cute and an interesting finishing technique with the felt. Homespun Elegance - it's trying to appeal to sampler goddess but the addition of charms makes it a no-no. Crowns and reindeer? What was she thinking? La-D-Da's Yule Flower. Simple, but elegant. Would make a lovely necklace. But could we have photographed this piece stitched on dark fabric against something light? I missed it entirely the first 3 times I looked through this magazine.

Page 16 - The Santa Page. Can I just run away screaming? Let's see. Santa has things growing out of his head. Looks like he's carrying a bag of plum pudding. Is making scary eyes at Rudolph. Has a big, big nose. Is wearing nerd glasses. I'll admit to sort of liking Twisted Oaks Santa in the Moon. But that's simply my love of red talking. Missing the number 9, but I think we can figure it out.

Page 18 - On to the trees. Umm. Erica Michael's Quiet Night is pretty. There are two number 5s because they put in two pieces from Follow the Leader. But didn't put them together in the photograph. What a dumb idea.

Page 20 - Shepherd's Bush Printworks. "their sweet baby kept?" Kept what? the English major in me is cringing. What were they trying to say here? And a broccoli recipe for Christmas? Come on. Get real. Cross Eyed Cricket - "Keeping Watch" Mitten.
What does a mitten have to do with the shepherds keeping watch? It's a pretty mitten. Why spoil it with buttons? Forget-Me-Not in Stitches. Good execution. Love seeing the nun stitch. Country Cottage Needleworks - boring, but okay. I think I have a huge problem though with her chosen version of Luke 2:14 - "and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased." I may come back to this another day. Little by Little Merry and Bright - another design that would benefit from being photographed against a lighter background.

Page 22 - Yeah for Monsterbubbles. Not afraid to show us something non-traditional. Love it. Boo for Charlotte's Web My Mum's Doll - because she's scaring me. Poor Imaginating - the design is one page and the floss guide is on the next page. Bad layout design, people.

page 24 - I'd being stitch both the woodpecker and the cardinal. The Stitchworks' Penguin is cute if you're into Happy Feet.

page 26 - for the most part - the angel pages. Wee Works' Golden Angel. Ugh. Token and Trifles mixed with a scrapbooking angel head and wings. It looks wrong. Charlotte's Collectibles' Hope Angel. How very precious moments. How pink. How sick.
Midsummer Night Designs' Christmas Angel - if I was going to stitch an angel, it would be this one. Prairie Moon's Joy - someone did a great finishing job. The Sunflower Seed - the name of this design is A Star, A Star not Christmas Poinsettia. Are there no copy editors working on this issue? Gentle Pursuit Designs - another one whose graph and stitch guide got separated. Also finishing instruction page numbers are wrong. And there are no real directions for how they attached the ribbon.

page 28 - Were these two pages designed for people who veered away from red and green? I love the Little House's Snow Bunnies. The Victorian Sampler gets 2+ pages. Nice to see something challenging.

So what's missing here? Not a single design for Chanukah or Kwanzaa or Festivus. I, personally, think this says something.

Next year please hire a copy editor. Please?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

JCS Ornament Issue '07

I've had the issue for nearly one week now. My first comment would be - I don't know how you managed to make this mistake again, but if you're looking at a chart, there is no page number there so you can quickly reference the picture. They've made this mistake before and then corrected it with a subsequent issue. Can't believe they let it slip again.

Will comment on the designs tonight or tomorrow. I'll do it before reading any blogs as I've haven't read a review yet and you'll get my unfiltered opinion.

Dead Battery

Need to recharge the camera battery otherwise I'd have a progress picture. I brought home a spare piece of fabric a few weeks ago from the shop. Owner had started something on it and didn't like how it was turning out. She'd picked out her stitches and was trying to decide on a different fiber when we realized instead of trying to stitch in red, she should stitch in white on a red fabric. I picked out a design that would fit on this piece of fabric - whose name escapes me. Something Potato? I'll ask on Thursday. But the shop was missing 2 of the 4 fibers so I changed the colors.

It's Keslynn's Celestial which can be seen here:

The original is stitched on canvas. And my colors are more towards turquoise.
Waterlilies "Peacock"
Crescent Colours "Bunny Honey"
Soy Lustre "Shadows"
and a gold Petit Treasure Braid

This is the first time I've used a Soy Lustre and it's very nice. Subtle shading and it has a good feel and great coverage.

Monday, September 17, 2007

RIP, Robert Jordan

Thank you for the wonderful world of the Wheel of Time. You'll be sorely missed.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Still Here

Just haven't been online much in the past few days. Real life interferes sometimes. Which is a good thing.

I'm off to play with my sewing machine. Wish me luck. The poor baby is probably going to be tempermental - been a long time since it had a check-up.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Priscilla Progress pic


Okay. Sorry I didn't get to post this yesterday. But this is where I'm at right now. Working on the leaves at her feet. And then I'll start working on the left wing. She's kinda lopsided this way, isn't she?
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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A One Winged Wonder

I've finished one wing on Priscilla. And to see if my decision to stitch her wings in blocks instead of just straight across made any difference, I did the backstitching last night. I should know better than to ask the man how it looks. He spent the rest of the night making up compliments after I took offense at his original comment. (I didn't know she was going to be green. Not quite what I was looking for. Good thing I don't need his validation.)

My verdict: it would have been stripy if I had stitched straight across. It accidentally is stripy in some places because of how the colors fell. But I think it was worth the extra time. My fault for choosing to replace my skein with one that had more variation.

Hmmm. Now I'm wondering if I can end another paragraph with a v---tion word. I could choose something easy like vacation? Okay. So like I just typed something as someting and when I do that I hear a certain French Canadian voice in my head. Ah Collette. She sure can talk a blue streak. Let's see, how about vindication? I got sidetracked but haven't totally forgotten what I was doing. But it kind of has to come naturally so I could type sort of stream of consciousness for a bit and see what happens. I could ask if DS has had his last vacination? I could wonder about that vibration? I could ask for an evaluation? Now this is just plain wrong. Maybe I've wondered far enough off the stitching path. Look I am in violation!

The end.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Color Comments on Crescent fibers

Um. What can I say about this? I don't want to sound like I'm complaining because I'm not. But. Her fibers have some wild variations. We've all noticed it at my LNS especially when hanging new fibers. If you compare new to what's already on the rack there are obvious differences. I know overdyeds are supposed to have variations. But. There have been some that are so different you wouldn't think they were the meant to be the same color at all.

I've got a friend who is stitching the Halloween Fairy, too. Her Dandelion Stem green looked nothing like mine. I liked hers better because there was more variation. So I checked the Dandelion Stem in the store. Two older skeins which looked nothing like the newer skeins, which looked nothing like my skein which had come with the kit.

Now. I've got to say that from the first time I stitched with Crescent Colours early this year, I fell in love. The coverage is great. Makes GAST and Weeks look wimpy. And the silks. Wow. I had the pleasure last Thursday of checking off an invoice of her Belle Soie silks. So soft. So pretty. So scrumptious.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Last Week's Finish

Not an easy thing to get a decent photo of - at least when you're me. It's about the size of a quarter. Should have put something beside it for contrast. Sorry. It was early a.m. time.

Photo Time

This is my progress on Priscilla before the Patriots game yesterday. I've gone a bit further up her wing. Just a bit. LOL

Friday, September 07, 2007

WooHoo - Another Finish

Promise I'll go take a picture...

Finished my little Fledermaus stitching on Wednesday and I sewed it together yesterday morning at stitch-in at my LNS. Very cute.

That means a project moves off the kitted list into the finished projects. Best part is it's not a unfinished finish. I've got a huge stack of projects on which the stitching is done and they sit in a box waiting for me to decide to do something with them. The bat is already attached to my beading scissors. yeah for me!

A big congrats to my sister who got her motorcycle license! She's joking that next comes the CDL...

Thursday, September 06, 2007

stitching blogger's question of the week 9/7/07

Would you ever stitch one of your BAPs a second time? (This does not include starting over because of mistakes, bad fabric, etc., rather stitching something from the first stitch for a second time.)

Just in case anyone is unclear - BAP = big ass project

So my answer is no f*^%in' way. I'm ADD enough to have difficulty finishing large things. I can't imagine trying to stitch one twice. The novelty of the first time is one of the things that gets me through a project. (em, this would be why I don't even bother trying to start things that I think are beautiful but have too much of a single color or things that are rather monochromatic. As much as love the polar bears, tigers, etc. too much gray, brown, white and I'd go out of my mind.)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


I realized last night I had made a big mistake by leaving out a row on the bat's wing. But the real problem was not realizing this until I was 3/4ths finished with the blending filament. No way am I attempting to frog 30ct over one blending filament and floss. So I will live with my error. I did finish the blending filament which is the moon behind the bat. It looks cute. And I think someone would have to stare at to see the error. Today I need to graph and stitch initials and date on the back. I will take it to stitch-in tomorrow morning to finish with that finishing technique involving backstitching and fleece. Just gotta remember to pull a few beads to dangle the charm from and to make a cord.

Now Fledermaus (literally flutter mouse) if I recall correctly is a comic opera based on a drunken guy showing up at a masked ball dressed as a bat. It's from some earlier farce. People stole plots all the time back in the day.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Missed It

Yesterday was the four year anniversary of my first post. Today is post number 802. I know my posting goes in spurts - I bop along posting consistently then something happens IRL and I stop for a week or so. Still, 4 years and 800 posts. I did manage to stick with this whole blogging enterprise fairly well.

(Unlike some people I know. Hint, hint.(If you stitch and think this is aimed at you, you are wrong.))

Gotta say it feels a little weird to not be participating in the ritual back to school thing this year. But I could grow to like it.

As for the stitching thing. Anyone working on the Halloween Fairy, I haven't stitched a thread since Saturday. And may not stitch on Priscilla again today. I picked up my little Fledermaus (translation: bat) scissor fob yesterday. Did the outline and most of the bat. I started by stitching the body and eyes. Then moved on to the wings and forgot what I was doing and started stitching with 2 threads instead of 1. Decided I liked how it looked and that I didn't want to frog it. So the wings and ears will be fuller than the body. But I'm so looking forward to the Kreinik bit - not. Two strands of yellow for the moon and there is a fair amount of it. Patience will be required.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Not So Bad

I just finished my database. I probably have missed one or two small projects because I didn't go check in my stitching bag, I just relied on my memory.

The totals for UFO's are not as bad as I feared.

I've got 137 projects that are completely or partially kitted.

I've got 30 UFO's.

Phew. I thought that number was much higher. But I have been working on older things this past year or so and I'm sure that helped.

As a reward (and to tease someone next week at stitch-in) I'm going to start my Fledermaus scissor fob. I've had this kitted for 3 years or so. I remember finding it at the shop in Poughkeepsie and it took me a while to locate all the threads I needed and the R & R eggplant fabric. I didn't go for the pumpkin charm that the designer used, but I found a silver spider. Even better.

Over one. Break out the magnifier!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Announcing a New Blog

This one is aimed at anyone with an interest in cooking. But especially at certain people with an interest in my cooking. Rae, pass this along to Al. Hiya, Memphis Boy!

Further Organization

Okay. So all the projects that are started, or kitted even partially are in three bins. One for large projects. One for small Christmas projects, and one for small projects.

I just finished typing up a database of all the small projects. All 73 of the. I didn't count how many of these are actual UFOs. I'm saving that task for later. Boy, my hands are complaining.

I feel I'll be dipping into these bins frequently to keep up my pledge on no new projects. And maybe tomorrow I'll get around to the bin of large projects. That's the one that is gonna kill me. I want to do them all. That's why they are there.

Halloweeeeny Fairy

I'm making great progress. I've got her wings, leaves beside her feet, backstitching and beading to go.

A note about her wings: I think in the photo, the Dandelion Stem green looks stripey.
My plan, and this is not original with me, is to stitch each section of the wing between the backstitching separately in order to make it look more like a natural wing. Of course this adds fractional stitches to my work load. But Priscilla is such a pleasure to work on that I won't mind a bit.